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VCSO Investigating Reports Of Strangers Following & Grabbing Children

By on February 19, 2018 in WNDB News

Volusia County, FL – Update: According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO), the 13-year-old girl who reported she was the victim of an attempted abduction in Deltona made the entire story up.

After helping Sheriff’s detectives with a composite sketch of the suspect, the girl admitted she lied about the abduction. She has since been charged with filing a false police report.

The other two suspicious incidents are still under investigation, however, no new information has been uncovered. The VCSO takes all reports of suspicious activity seriously and thoroughly investigates each one. False reports not only expend valuable resources but they also carry criminal charges.

Earlier Reporting:

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) is warning the public about three suspicious incidents involving strangers approaching school-aged children.

On Thursday, three students in different locations reported adult men either following them or attempting to grab them. The first incident occurred near Osteen Elementary when an 11-year-old safety patrol officer was approached by a man at his patrol post at around 7:30 AM. The student said that the man grabbed him by his patrol belt, but he was able to break free and run to safety.

The suspect, in this case, was seen near what looked to be a black Ford four-door pickup. The student described the suspect as a white male with a tall, thin build wearing a black hoodie. The man also had a tattoo of an eagle head on his right index finger above the knuckle.

The next incident occurred at the intersection of East Dana Drive and Florida Drive in Deltona. A 13-year-old Galaxy Middle School student said a man grabbed her from behind and tried to force her into a white van. At the time, she was walking home from her bus stop listening to music in her earbuds.

When the suspect grabbed her, the girl kicked, punched, and screamed for help. A woman in a red passenger car noticed the incident and pulled over to yell at the man to stop. The suspect fled the scene in the white van. He is described as a tall, thin white male with short hair and a brown beard.

The last incident occurred at around 7:55 AM when a 12-year-old girl was walking to her bus stop at the intersection of East Normandy Boulevard and Troy Avenue in Deltona. The girl said that she heard footsteps behind her while she was walking. She saw a man walking behind her but he disappeared once she reached her bus stop.

The girl sat down to text her mother when she noticed the man looking at her from a parking lot across the street at 1045 E. Normandy Blvd. When other students arrived at the bus stop, the man left. That afternoon, she saw what looked to be the same man behind a house near E. Normandy Blvd. and Troy Ave. She did not see the man again as she continued to walk home.

The victim and her mother drove around the area but could not find the suspect. He is described as a 30 to 40-year-old black or Hispanic male wearing a black hoodie, gray sweatpants, and black shoes.

The VCSO has not yet identified any of the suspects, however, they are continuing to investigate these suspicious incidents by talking with witnesses and searching for possible surveillance video. These incidents are based on each child’s account of what happened so the circumstances of each case have not yet been confirmed.

To help keep yourself safe and deputies informed of similar suspicious incidents, make sure to:

  • Walk in groups when possible
  • Constantly be aware of your surroundings, knowing who and what is around you
  • Be able to describe a potential suspect’s face, unusual characteristics, body build, height, and the vehicle if one is present
  • Call 911 if you see something suspicious

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2018.

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